Creature Features host Bob Wilkins passed away last week. I finally got around to finding some clips from Creature Features and Captain Cosmic, two of his shows on KTVU Channel 2 here in Oakland.
Bob was quite unique in the horror show host genre. A droll guy with glasses and a big cigar. I saw the very first preview of Star Wars on his Creature Feature show. It was quite a moment and created so much anticipation of the film. They showed that clip over and over in the Spring of ’77. Wilkins sometimes would come down to Santa Cruz and do a meet ‘n greet at the local comics store, Atlantis, then on Pacific Avenue.
Another great memory was when he would feature Williard and show preview clips with all the rats.
I was wondering if this was going to happen in SF. A lot of Gaza protesters were riding BART to SF on Saturday morning. Seeing the two groups together would have been interesting. I was taking BART from Oakland to SF on this morning so Dru could pick me up at the Balboa station so we could get the heck out of town. Everyone had pants.
It has been noisy with helicopters constantly in the air. The downtown streets started filling up with protesters two nights ago. After a grocery trip, I followed one of the helicopters towards Lake Merritt. I turned down Madison and then at the intersection with 14th St., I saw a dozen police cars, and scores of OPD. Smoke was in the air. A dozen or so bystanders were on the sidewalk. I parked and started to check out the scene. I talked to a street journalist guy with pro Sony headphones and a microphone who was interviewing people to see what was going on. He told me it was that this is where the Fruitvale BART protest ended up and that there was rioting.
I went back to my car and sent out a couple Twitter messages. A bottle crashed to the pavement a few feet from my car. Time to get out!
Helicopters circled the city all night. I checked tv to see if there was any coverage. The local Oakland station? Nope. The only station doing some live coverage before 10PM was KRON. The most news I got was from doing searches for ‘riot’ and ‘Oakland’ on Twitter’s summize.com.
Though there are reasons for the community to be upset about the tragic New Year’s Eve BART shooting, trashing the struggling business of downtown Oakland doesn’t seem to be the answer. The businesses and citizens of Oakland had nothing to do with this incident. There seemed to be an anarchist element that came from out of town that helped create the violence, arson and property damage that happened that night.
It was only two months ago these streets were full of joy and hope after Obama was elected. Now there are boarded windows and burnt cars in the streets.
Had a good time at Macword. Ran into Irina Slutsky of GETV and was interviewed about cosmic subjects! Saw demos of Apple’s iLife updates and was impressed with the updates to iPhoto and iMovie. Glad to see that iMovie got back many lost features from iMovies 6 and more.
Surprised I didn’t see as many people I knew then I ran into a Howie from my MaCruzer (a MUG) days in Santa Cruz. He sold me my second Mac, a IIcx back in the early 90’s.
Near the end of the day I saw Merlin Mann, who was very funny on MacBreak Weekly and then my favorite conspiracist and curmudgeon, John C. Dvorak.
From Rolling Stone Magazine today:
“Ron Asheton, guitarist and founding member of the Stooges, was reportedly found dead at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan this morning. He was 60.”
“As the guitarist for the Stooges, Asheton crafted some of rock’s most memorable riffs, including “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “No Fun” and “TV Eye.” Guitarist Asheton, along with his brother Scott, Iggy Pop and original bassist Dave Alexander formed the Stooges in Detroit in 1967. The original lineup released two albums, The Stooges and Fun House, before Ron Asheton shifted over to bass guitar for 1973’s Raw Power. All three LPs made Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, ranking at Number 185, 191 and 125 respectively. Asheton was also Number 29 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
In the late 80s, when I played guitar with friends, my favorite songs to play were frequently Stooges longs. The Stooges were also probably the biggest influence of one of my all time fave bands, The Ramones.
Macworld is starting tomorrow. I’ll be showing up to check out all the new stuff and more importantly to see and meet friends from near and far. I’ll be tweeting @davebryan for updates on my whereabouts.
Wednesday and Thursday nights will probably be the nights I stay out late.
Who knows what will come out since Apple is trying to downplay the event as a launching event for new products. There will probably be some updates or maybe something big – nice, now that our expectations are lowered!
Wishing all my friends Happy New Year!
It was great to spontaneously get out of town and head up to Lake Tahoe. Dru wanted to go play in the snow so we headed to the Kings Beach area near the Nevada stateline. Dru attempted snowboarding while I joined later for some snowshoe hiking at Squaw Valley.
I’m looking for some new opportunities and adventures in 2009. I’m kicking it into high gear by joining a boot camp training course which starts at 6:00AM. I like training while I’m still half asleep. This week is also Kangeiko, the traditional time of cold training for Aikidoists. Hope to see some old friends on the mat!
Manuel Santana passed away last week. He was a vibrant Santa Cruz renaissance man that was a voracious painter, helped create the Cabrillo Music Festival a political activist and founded Manuel’s restaurant in Seacliff. I only met him a couple times. Sometimes I saw him during lunch time at his Manuel’s restaurant. The waitress would tell me that Manny is serving up some special soup he just concocted and if I would like some – like an oversized amuse bouche as only the big guy could make it. Over the years I came to realize that Manuel’s was not only my all time favorite restaurant, but the one I’ve dined at more than often any other in my lifetime.
My early remembrances are going there in the early Seventies. Then, the tab for my family of four with a couple of beers for mom and dad, came under twenty bucks. Through out time, they eventually came about to accepting credit cards and were open to midnight on most nights!
The Food? Still, in my opinion probably still the best Mexican American style food I can find. The refried beans are still the bar that all others are measured. The Chile Relleno is sublime, fluffy batter surrounding a large chile liberally stuffed with cheese. The chips? Still the best served with a zippy salsa that I can’t stop eating!
A toast to Manny and his everlasting imprint on Santa Cruz life!